Tuesday, 31 August 2010

An Unwelcome Visitor

There are few greater pleasures than paddling close in to the Ormsaigbeg shore on a warm afternoon with a slight swell to set the kelp waving - which is what the Diary was doing yesterday afternoon when it was confronted at close quarters by this beast.

The trouble with mink is that they are cute and inquisitive and, when they're dressed in black on a sunny afternoon, remarkably good-looking, but these appearances hide a vicious killer, as Titch MacLachlan reported recently, here.

We've had one arrive in the middle of a picnic. He was absolutely determined to join in, and had to be deterred by a volley of well-aimed stones, though he kept coming back. Later we realised it wasn't so much the picnic that interested him as the guts of some mackerel we'd caught and cleaned in the shallows.

This is the first mink we've seen along this coast for some time - we'd been beginning to hope that something had happened to clear them away. He was obviously young, perhaps one of last year's cubs, so, unfortunately, there are probably others around.


  1. I've only just noticed this post - I don't know if you'd be interested, but while I was staying on Portuairk in May, I spotted what I thought was a pine marten. I'm not very knowledgeable about wildlife, but comparing my photo to yours, I think it may have been a mink... there's a photo in this album...

    Matt, Hull.

  2. Hi Matt -

    Yes, I think you've got a nice picture of a mink there.

    Pine martens are surprisingly like bears, woolier, fatter, more ponderous than a mink, and they tend to be dark brown with a very distinctive pale patch under their chin. There's a (distant) photo of an unusually light one at http://kilchoan.blogspot.com/2010/03/visitor.html